Go ahead… admit it. You treat your torch more like a treasured pet than a hunk of steel. You organize your life around family & friends, your “day job”, and torch time – and not necessarily in that order. We feel your pain. It is thus for you, kindred spirits, we formed DogmawGlass (LLC) – the Artists Online Source for Satake Glass.
It is also for you that we put together this FAQ, so if you see anything that isn’t touched on here that you want to know, you can always shoot us questions, comments, complaints, complements, Nigerian email scams or anything else you think we should see!
Drop us a line =>
dogmawglass.com (try to harvest that, email bots!)
Okay, so what’s the deal with ‘lead’ vs. ‘soda’ glass? Aren’t they both soda lime glass?
Yes, they are both soda lime glass, but part of Satake’s color line is leaded and the other part is not – they had to differentiate them somehow, so that’s what they came up with.
Well, how do I tell the soda from the lead? Is it an important difference?
Ever try to make a bead with one rod of 96 COE glass and one of 104 COE? Then you already know the problem. Since there are 2 COE’s for Satake, here is an easy reference list for you, along with a breakdown of which is lead and which is soda.
Lead colors: (94 of them)
Soda colors: (66 of them)
A-01 to A-26
A-27 to A-40
no lead in E
E – all of them
G-01 to G-35
G-36 to G-40
S-01 to S-33
S-34 to S-40
Including both soda and lead, there are a total of 160 colors. These colors include primary colors, pastel colors, and colors based on tones from traditional Japanese kimonos, as well as several others that are really cool and different.
You just gotta play by your own rules, huh?
Well, okay, if you gotta. Due to the differences in COE, if you limit use between them to a thin stringer or dots of one on the other there should be low risk of cracking. HOWEVER there are other pitfalls as well – in the case of soda reds/yellows/oranges, unless you encase it in soda clear there is an ugly chemical reaction between the pigments in the soda and the lead glass, or if you put lead of any color (including clear) on red/yellow/orange soda, it turns black. All the other soda colors don’t appear to have that issue with lead. This is due to a chemical reaction between the lead in the lead glass and the pigments used in the soda glass to create reds/yellows/oranges – one of the reasons there aren’t many reds and oranges in the lead glass line.
So – if you just GOTTA put soda on lead, make sure that if it is red/yellow/orange you encase it in clear first. If you gotta put lead on soda, make sure it’s not over red/yellow/orange unless that area is already encased in clear, or some other buffer color.
This is the annealing schedule recommended by Satake glass:
Anneal at 890°F for 10-20 minutes.
Lower to 750°F, 20 minutes for small beads, 1 hour for large beads.
Lower to 390°F for 2 hours.
Turn off and cool to room temperature.
From our own experiences at shopmonkey labs, we find that 890°F is way high, and we tend to get flat spots and beads sticking together. From experience (and talking to other Satake lampworkers) we currently garage beads at 790°F, then raise the temperature to 850°F for 1 hour, then cool at a rate 100°F per hour. This works quite well, and doesn’t make flat bits or make beads stick together.
Because beads made from Satake hold heat for much longer than other brands of soda glass, they are also well suited to cooling in vermiculite or under a fiber blanket and then being batch annealed, but shopmonkeys just like to pop them in the kiln and be done with it! ^_^.
Because of its thermal characteristics, Satake glass stays soft much longer than other brands of glass – So be sure it really has firmed up on the surface before you put it in the kiln, fiber blanket, or vermiculite, or you will end up with some unintended surface decoration! Japanese artists are often taught to blow on them while spinning the bead by quickly rolling the mandrel between their thumb and forefinger for a few seconds – it leaves the core more “molten” while the surface is nice and hard, resistant to surface deformation – but no matter how much you love your beads, don’t give them a kiss! (at least not yet…true love can never be denied! ^_^)
Satake glass needs to be worked cooler than other soda glass, such as Moretti, BullsEye, etc. If worked too hot, bubbles will form on and under the surface, and many colors will fade.
Be sure your marvers are clean, and your mashers are rust free. Pitting on the surface of your marver or masher will produce pits in your bead. Rust is especially bad, making the bead pockmarked kinda like the surface of the moon.
Black glass (both lead and soda) will have a hematite look if worked cool, and will lose the metalic look if worked slightly warmer. When black is pulled into a stringer it stays black, unless the stringer is hair fine in which case it might look slightly purple.
Both lead and soda can be used similarly, but mixing the two in the base of the same bead is not recommended, as the differences in COE will in all probability cause cracking. However, like with 96 COE frit on 104 COE base beads and vice versa, small amounts of lead on soda or soda on lead should not cause problems – but there can be unpredictable chemical reactions when the pigments in some colors of soda react with lead causing discoloration.
Some good points to remember:
1. work cool! This stuff melts like buttah.
2. work pink opaques especially cool. They will lose their color easily.
3. be gentle. This glass is much softer than moretti when glowing, and it retains its heat much longer. You will need to be very gentle when shaping things like bicones and barrels.
4. Working Satake glass will make you a better lampworker – we think it’s a more demanding glass than other soft glass in a lot of ways, but if you get the feel for it the results are fantastic.
5. have fun, experiment, and post pictures!
Have we used a hothead? You betcha – we ain’t kidding when we say it melts like buttah. In fact, in a lot of ways using a hothead on Satake is easier than on a propane/oxy setup, since the melting point is lower than moretti/bullseye/etc, and the hotter flame on the oxy setup is almost too much for the Satake. In fact, Japanese beadworkers using Satake use little air compressors with propane, and get really amazing results.
The lower heat of the hothead can give you a greater cushion against boiling and fading of colors (can be bad on the reds and pinks) since you can’t put as much heat on your gather, even if you wanted to! Satake teaches you patience cause you just can’t rush it with more heat.
Being as I are a dumb gaijin, how do you actually pronounce Satake?
Just like it’s spelled ^_^.
Okay, okay, we get your point. We got it wrong when we first read about it as well, being as we is dumb gaijin too. Depending on your primary language and regional accent, one might want to pronounce it as “suh-Talk-ee” or “Ser-tacky” or even “Suh-take” (rhymes with rake).
However, use this in the presence of a Japanese speaker and they would have no idea what you were talking about. From hearing native Japanese speakers use it repeatedly in person (wow – people actually talking In Real Life? What is this offline world of which you speak?) the actual Japanese pronunciation is pretty close to “sa-tah-kay”, with equal emphasis on each syllable.
Now you can go out with confidence into the world of spoken communication! We’re just going to stay here and write an email to someone on the other side of the room.
Grrrr! I placed an order and you stoopid monkeys never responded! What kind of fly-by-night operation are you running around there, anyway!
<cowering pitiously> We’re so sorry! There are only a few reasons how this could ever occur:
1) We were mercilessly eaten by a giant snake (well, YOU try getting a signal from in there!)
2) Something went horribly, horribly wrong when you got routed to Paypal
3) Mischievous elves are jerking us around… again
If you receive no notice from either Paypal or Shopmonkeys (from something like “firstname.lastname@example.org”) letting you know what’s up in a time frame that you think you should, then in all likelihood one of these three things has happened (maybe more than one, that snake is an unstoppable killing machine! Come on – the elves are right there, man… eat them for once, willya?) Try sending emails to shopmonkeys (at) dogmawglass.com describing your terrifying rage from an email address you know works, or even more than just one email server…
I Will Not Be Ignored! you might scream in your most terrifying imperious voice, the one that makes shopmonkeys so very, very frightened… and we will of course scurry to appease your mighty anger.
Assuming we weren’t eaten by the snake – then you’re on your own, baby.